The Journal of Structural Engineering: Keep up with a Changing World
Over the last several decades, technology has not only changed the way we submit and review papers, it has changed the research and practice of structural engineering, accelerating the transfer of knowledge and discoveries. Papers on topics that could not have been conceived of even 10 or 20 years ago are routine topics in structural engineering-related journals worldwide, including the JSE - artificial intelligence, full-scale whole building testing, and comprehensive BIM, to name a few. As technology continues to accelerate the profession at breakneck speed, it is imperative that JSE leadership continues to be proactive to the needs of its authors and its worldwide readership and strives to align its content and publication practices with the needs of the profession and society as a whole.
Current aim and scope invites papers that make a fundamental contribution to structural engineering but work at the intersection of structural engineering and other disciplines. Emerging areas within structural engineering, or those at the intersection with other disciplines, is key as we move forward as a profession and a journal. Over the next decade (and beyond) JSE will likely need to expand topical areas to include sustainability, resilience, and yet unforeseen areas that will engage and enrich our profession. This means that the editorial board will continue to grow, and it remains critical that each member take as much pride in JSE's success as the preeminent structural engineering journal as they do in the papers they write themselves. This means balancing the need to continually consider topical areas for inclusion with the role of maintaining the structural engineering focus that has brought JSE to where it is under the leadership of past chief editors, most recently Professor Sherif El-Tawil.
Several key areas whose overlap with structural engineering that will enable the Journal of Structural Engineering to maintain its status as the leading structural engineering journal are:
- Emerging Technologies:
From new materials in buildings to laser scanning technologies to sensors for health monitoring and smart cities, emerging technologies continue to reshape structural engineering. It is critical to separate pure application of a technology from its own development, and I envision contributions to the JSE that utilize emerging technologies to advance fundamental structural engineering principles and methods.
Structural resilience, community resilience, and disaster resilience are gaining attention as an area of study, with manuals of practice under development, committees in ASCE institutes, and local to global efforts underway. Projects throughout Europe and Asia further reinforce the resilience momentum, with many of the US and worldwide projects led by structural engineers. I envision an increase in this overarching concept within the JSE.
The SEI BOG recognized "the need for coordinated action across the profession to achieve the [Carbon Leadership Forum] globally stated goal of net zero carbon by 2050." Such a goal represents new challenges in design and engineering, which will produce fundamental contributions to the profession. I envision increased research and design projects addressing these challenges head on, with fundamental advances published in the JSE.
- Structural Engineering:
The JSE must continue to be the preeminent structural engineering journal by publishing fundamental papers in that specialty. Continued fundamental advances across concrete, steel, wood, composites, and buildings and other structures with unique geometries, size, uses, and loadings, are anticipated. I envision these papers continuing to form the JSE backbone, keeping it strong, sustainable, and resilient.
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John W. van de Lindt is the Harold H. Short Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. He has been an ASCE member for more than 25 years and is a fellow of SEI and ASCE. After receiving his B.S. from California State University Sacramento in 1993, he attended graduate school at Texas A&M University, completing his M.S. and Ph.D. in 1995 and 1999, respectively. He is a past chair of the SEI Technical Administrative Committee on Wood for SEI and regularly organizes sessions at the Structures Congress and other conferences worldwide. Van de Lindt has led numerous research projects related to improving performance and resilience to natural hazards, including the NSF-funded NEESWood project, "Development of a Performance-Based Seismic Design Philosophy for Mid-Rise Woodframe Buildings," which culminated with the world's largest shake table test of a 14,000-square-foot, six-story condominium in Miki, Japan. He currently co-directs the 14-university National Institute of Standards and Technology-funded Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, headquartered at Colorado State University. He has published more than 400 technical articles and reports, including more than 200 archival journal papers. He has received a number of awards from ASCE, including the Raymond C. Reese Research Prize in 2012 and 2015, the Ernest E. Howard Award in 2017, and several journal-sponsored awards, including Best Paper in Structural Hazards (JSE, 2017) and the Best Paper Award (JAE, 2018), with his students and postdocs. He has supported ASCE's mission as an associate editor for the JSE, guest editor for four special issues/collections, and section editor handling papers related to wind, wood, optimization, fire, and special design topics, beginning more than a decade ago.